Clerks Accreditation for Local Authorities
For more information, please contact us on 01962 845846 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why use the Accredited Clerk programme?
The importance of professional clerking has never been greater. Schools have been given increased freedoms and greater accountability and the government has recognised that the contribution professional clerking can make to effective governance of schools is very significant. Being accredited means you, and others, can be confident that the clerk is an effective practitioner. The Accreditation Programme is an evidenced based assessment against national competence standards and therefore provides assurance of operating as an effective professional practitioner. The programme is also developmental and fits well with other in-house training and briefing programmes.
What areas of the clerk’s role does the programme cover?
The standards are built around the key elements of the clerk’s role including the potential additional responsibilities in Academy setting as follows:
- Legal knowledge
- Educational awareness
- Communication and relationships
- Challenge and intervention
- Performance and professional development
- Supporting the company secretary (optional for academy and free school clerks)
Clerks are supported by a briefing, either face to face or via an e-learning module and receive telephone and e-mail support. Clerks compile a personal portfolio of evidence against the standards for assessment with the support of their assessor. Resources to support the programme are provided. The support and engagement of the Chair and Headteacher are essential to the process. The completed portfolio goes through initial assessment by the assessor and then internal and external moderation to ensure consistent, high standards are maintained. The award of accredited clerk, or accredited clerk with merit, is made to successful candidates.
What are the routes for providers of clerking services and local authorities?
You can consider three routes:
- If you have sufficient numbers of clerks and staff capacity to have your own trained assessors to assess them, then you can consider running the programme in-house under licence. Licence holders have centrally trained and moderated assessors and participate in assessment and moderation days. They receive support through the sharepoint site and programme lead.
- If you do not want to have your own assessors you can still offer the programme to your clerks and we will run initial briefings locally and allocate our external assessors to support your clerks through the programme.
- If you do not have capacity to run any of the programme in house you can direct clerks to apply as individual clerks to the programme and we will allocate an assessor to support them.
What is the difference between Training and Accreditation?
When people are learning a new skill, like driving, they undertake training to help them to develop the necessary skills and knowledge. When they reach a competent level they take a ‘test’ to prove that they are fully competent. Accreditation is an assessment process that enables clerks to undertake self-directed learning and to develop professional practice. That practice is evidenced through an assessed portfolio tested against national standards.
Our clerks are doing the National Training Programme for Clerks.
Should they still do the Accreditation Programme?
Yes! We helped to write the National Programme so the competence model is consistent across both. The training programme provides a certificate of participation in the training programme but not of competence as a clerk. In other words it is quite possible to participate in training and still not be competent at the end! The training programme can help to provide evidence, through the school based enquiries, of competence in the role so the two complement each other. Equally it is possible for a clerk to successfully complete the Accreditation Programme without undertaking the National Training Programme.
What are the outcomes?
The TAC Programme has been running for over 14 years and is externally moderated by ISCG or Qualifi. To date more than 1,000 clerks have completed the programme across the country, either as an individual candidate via direct assessment or via their LA service or clerking service employer. There are currently 30 LA’s using this programme, working collaboratively to reduce costs and drive-up standards in clerking.
How much will it cost?
There are two accreditation routes to meet the needs of individual candidates or participating organisations:
- Route 1 – An award leading to accreditation or accreditation with merit and certified by the ISCG. £490 per candidate for 2014/15
- Route 2 – A level 4 award or certificate in clerk to governance bodies certified by awarding body ‘Qualifi’. £620 per candidate for 2014/15
An alternative approach to run part or all of the scheme under the partnership licence is extremely cost-effective.
We will work together with all partners to minimise costs to the lowest possible level by sharing training, moderation and briefing costs. This is a not for profit enterprise and the scheme simply seeks to cover its costs. There is a small annual contribution (licence fee – currently £350) which contributes to the maintenance of the materials and framework. The cost variables are the salary paid to assessors and the number of clerks going through the programme. It is therefore possible for organisations to manage their overheads effectively.
There are initial start up costs:
- small annual licence fee
- assessor training cost
- moderation cost
- certification fee per portfolio
Clerks who have completed the programme tell us they have:
- Developed their knowledge and skills
- Undertaken a wider range of professional tasks
- Improved the practice of their governing body
- Improved or enhanced professional working with the Head and Chair
- Gained confidence and are able to intervene more easily to advise
- Gained a sense of achievement
Partners operating the programme under licence tell us:
- It enhances the confidence of our clerks
- We find they are more influential
- Even the most experienced benefit from completing the programme
- It builds on our existing training
- Accrediting clerking skills is important to us